Mission Lucy first NASA looking for the asteroid Trojan Jupiter, launched Saturday morning (10/16) local time from the Space Launch Complex 41 Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA. This mission will uncover the origin of the universe.
Over the next 12 years, Lucy will fly through one main belt asteroid and seven Trojan asteroids. Lucy became the first single spacecraft mission in history to explore so many different asteroids. Lucy will investigate the planet’s formation “fossils” up close during her journey.
“Lucy created the search NASA out into the cosmos for the sake of exploration and science, to better understand the universe and our place in it. I can’t wait to see what mystery this mission reveals! “Said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
About an hour after launch, Lucy separated from the second stage of the ULA Atlas V 401 rocket. Two large arrays of solar panels, each measuring nearly 7.3 meters wide, were successfully unfurled about 30 minutes later and began charging the spacecraft’s batteries to power its subsystems.
“This was a true discovery mission. Lucy is full of opportunities to learn more about the mysterious Trojan asteroid and better understand the formation and evolution of the early solar system,” said Thomas Zurbuchen Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
Lucy’s mission allowed scientists to explore two Trojan asteroid swarms that share orbits around the Sun with Jupiter. Scientific evidence shows that Trojan asteroids are the remnants of material that formed the giant planets.
By studying these asteroids, scientists can uncover previously unknown information about the formation and evolution of our solar system.
“We started working on the mission concept Lucy early 2014, so this launch has been a long time coming. It will be a few years before we get to the first Trojan asteroids. But these objects are worth the wait and all the effort will pay off due to their immense scientific value. They’re like diamonds in the sky,” said Hal Levison, lead researcher Lucy.
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